RAY, which is the short name for Raha-automaattiyhdistys, is a completely unique gambling company in Finland. While the business itself may be a monopoly, the profits made by RAY are donated to local charities and good causes. The company was founded in 1938 and works alongside Veikkaus, which is the Finnish National Betting Agency, to raise money for a variety of different domestic charities. Starting off with slot machines in several of their business partners’ premises, Raha-automaattiyhdistys has gone on to open its own casino and provide online gaming too.
It may come as a surprise for many to learn that there are casino businesses out there which don’t operate for profit. Raha-automaattiyhdistys is a completely non profit company, which means that it doesn’t take any money for gain. Instead, funds are distributed across an average of 800 charities and good causes in Finland. Some of the main areas RAY focuses on include providing gambling addiction treatment and care for the elderly. So far in 2015 they have raised over 309 million Euros for these causes. This helps them to find their national gambling helpline, Peluuri, and their responsible gambling resources online. On top of this are a wide range of beneficiaries, all of which aim to improve Finnish welfare.
Games and Casinos
Of course, despite being a not for profit business, RAY is still a casino! There are over 170 games to play in land-based casinos, online and on mobile. Raha-automaattiyhdistys owns the only official casino in Finland, known as the Grand Casino Helsinki. This casino is open every single day of the year (bar two), from midday until 4am. It’s popular with both the locals and tourists, seeing over 300,000 visitors every year. There are over 300 slot machines in the casino, the majority of which are designed, owned and distributed by RAY themselves. While the company is famous for its slot machines, it also provides a range of table games and poker. In fact, poker tournaments make up a big part of their visitor numbers and profits. There are thousands of Euros worth of jackpots also available when playing at their land-based or online casino. Some of their most popular slot games include Gladiator (with a one million Euro jackpot), Fortunes of the Fox, Bella, and the Marvel Jackpot slots.
Raha-automaattiyhdistys is situated in Finland, with their main headquarters in Espoo. They also own the casino in Helsinki, to make up their list of assets. In order to help boost the economy, RAY employs over 1,600 people. Many of these work in the casino, with the rest based at HQ offering customer service, design, development and research skills. Velipekka Nummikoski has been the president and CEO of Raha-automaattiyhdistys since April 2012, when his predecessor retired. He was actually the Minister of Finance for Finland, before joining RAY. He has managed to grow the revenue of the business by a substantial amount in the last three years, with the most recent reports showing a 2.4% increase for the first and second quarter this year. 524.6 million euros has been made by RAY in the first eight months of this year! The biggest growths for them have been from casino games in restaurants, digital games, and their slot machines. This boost in revenue has ensured more cash can be put into health and social welfare programmes in Finland.